Turkey has welcomed the surprise Israeli apology for the deaths aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla.
It is reported the leaders of the two countries spoke by phone just before US President Barack Obama left Israel for Jordan and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to meet Turkish conditions.
Following the call the Turkish premier said: “Israel apologised in accordance with our expectations and accepted our conditions generally. First an apology, second compensation for the families of the victims of the Mavi Marmara and thirdly a lifting of the embargo against Palestine.”
The normalisation of relations, will now see the two countries return their ambassadors, and Turkey has cancelled legal cases against Israli Defence Force soldiers.
But while many are happy, Turkish humanatarian group, IHH Vice President, Hüseyin Oruç, who was on board the Mavi Marmara when it was attacked said the Israeli compensation does not go far enough.
“Of course we are not going to withdraw. We also expect compensation for everyone not only the families of the martyrs. Those who were in the ship suffered, as IHH we suffered. We were suppressed, we were criticised by the people and by the officials and our ships were damaged.”
This apology seems to have been a master-stroke by the US President on his Middle East visit, but many questions still remain as Euronews’ correspondent in Ankara, Bora Bayraktar, explained: “The crisis which started three years ago on the Mavi Marmara ship, seems to be resolved after Israel’s apology. From now on the key point is whether the cases against Israeli officials will be dropped. There’s also one more major question: will relations between Israel and Turkey return to how they used to be?”